Stab Magazine | The Stab Boardshort Rule Book - with Sam Cottee, Vanguard

The Stab Boardshort Rule Book – with Sam Cottee, Vanguard

The first rule? The word trunks sounds so much better than boardies. So wordly! So surf! Apart from that little aural aside, we asked a dozen of the world’s best surfwear designers for their take on this, the most precious item, in our summer wardrobe. Scroll down for the answers… STAB: How long have you […]

style // Feb 22, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

The first rule? The word trunks sounds so much better than boardies. So wordly! So surf! Apart from that little aural aside, we asked a dozen of the world’s best surfwear designers for their take on this, the most precious item, in our summer wardrobe. Scroll down for the answers…

STAB: How long have you been designing trunks? As far as jobs go, how is it?
SC: Me and my brother have had the label for almost six years and have been designing and producing trunks for the past four years. Designing boardies is dope. Always stoked to get a killer sample back which you’re frothing to run over summer.

You like? Detest? What kind of hours do you keep? Designing shapes, details, giving artistic direction on prints and fucking around with washes and new techniques to come up with trunks that are a bit different from your average high-performance microfibre trunk. Me and my brother own the label and design pretty well the entire range so office hours can be pretty long. Anywhere from eight am til seven pm or later if we’re under the pump but we’re happy to do it cause it’s our project.

What gives you a thrill in the office? Nailing a print or getting back a sample back that you’re stoked with but the best part of the gig is travel for production development and sales.

What are the fundamental rules of trunk design? Fit and quality are King. The rest, I like to break down the barriers a bit by using different materials and washes that you don’t usually see on boardies.

Whose trunks, apart from your own, y’diggin? I’m not really into the whole super duper technological boardies so I’d have to say Insight, Vonzipper and Rusty.

Do you have a design signature? We have a bit of a vintage signature to our boardies. We separate ourselves by using shorter leg lengths and scoop cuts combined with vintage-inspired prints and washes and cotton-based fabrics with limited logos.

Leg lengths: What works? Best sellers for summer were the Another Galaxy boardies which sit just above the knee. The way I like it.

What’s popular? We do a retro-inspired shape with a shorter leg length and scoop. We try to keep the prints pretty classic on these or just use a wash. The loggers and alternative surfers seem to like to run this style.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of each length? I used to run longer boardies but I always surf in our Fusion boardies now cause they sit just on the knee and don’t feel too baggy, but still have enough leg room to do your thang. Sometimes, you cop a bit of knee rash from the tailpad in the short guys but I’m sure most guys can deal with it. Loggers and guys riding twinnies like the retro boardies cause it vibes with their style and they don’t have to worry about those pesky little tail pads.

Do you have a favourite fabric? Cotton canvas and polycotton. I find cotton-based trunks have a more authentic feel and don’t give you as much rash plus they have more a walkshort style about em. The polycotton goes good cause they dry a little faster than canvas.

A hypothetical: you’re designing the ultimate pair of trunks, with no cost consideration nor retail concern, what would you make? Woven Kevlar/gold thread trunks with a built-in ball massager.

Y’travel for inspiration? Where do you go? I’d start by hitting the vintage stores and markets of LA to capture that old Cali vibe. Down to Peru, Bolivia and Argentina for textiles and print inspiration and then NYC and Tokyo for trends.

Why snaps or a string? Always a string. Snaps don’t give you that room to really tighten em up if the surf’s pumping and if you’ve had a few too many beers or a big feed there’s no room to let the ol belly loose.

Of all the offshore factories, who makes the best trunks? China? Bangladesh? India? Indonesia? And, if trunks were made in Australian factories, what would be the string, price-wise? I’ve always done my trunks in Indo and have been pretty stoked with the washing and different shit they can do, but if you’re after welded seams and stretch microfibres I’d say that China is the go. If trunks were made in Aussie factories they’d be great quality but they would end up around twice the price because printing and labour costs are that much dearer here.

Who or what is the biggest influence in trunk design? Professional surfers. They’re the guys getting in all the shots and giving feedback to the companies.

What’s the best pair of trunks you’ve designed that didn’t make it past the sampling stage? There’s only been one pair that we didn’t end up making. Just a knee length with an abstract stonewash and splice panel print. Nuthin too crazy. –Derek Rielly


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